Reservist mobilisation query

#1
Hello,

I'm looking to join the Army Reserves as an officer after I finish university. There are some questions I have which I haven't been able to find the answers to after doing some research.
Aside from employer rights (to apply for deferral or exemption of call-outs), what rights does a reservist have when it comes to answering their call-out for mobilisation?
Are reservists able to decline any form of call-out? Are there chances of compulsory mobilisation with no option to exempt yourself (aside from leaving the Army Reserves)?
In my opinion, of course, it's pointless to want to join the Army Reserves if you don't want to be deployed/mobilised. However, I find it important to know the options available before applying.

Thanks in advance.
 
Last edited:

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
Aside from employer rights (to apply for deferral or exemption of call-outs), what rights does a reservist have when it comes to answering their call-out for mobilisation?
It depends on the mobilisation. The traditional, Cold War-era point where Queen's Order 2 called out all the Reservists for Big Mistake 3 would be "turn up Or Else" - but needed that level of crisis.

More usually, the typical form of mobilisation used has been described as "intelligent", which means that either posts are advertised for volunteers, or individuals are approached to say "How would you fancy six months work in somewhere hot'n'sandy?" In those cases, which are the rule outside of major crisis, you are volunteering to be mobilised (although calling it 'intelligent' rather than 'voluntary' is a figleaf to cover that), which has various advantages and drawbacks.

Are reservists able to decline any form of call-out?
Compulsory mobilisation - when a brown envelope arrives telling you to report to your Reserve Training and Mobilisation Centre to take your place in a war of national survival - is... well, the clue's in the name.

Intelligent or voluntary mobilisation is... voluntary. If you don't choose to put your name forward, or if when approached you say "really not convenient at the moment", you're declining to volunteer. Depending on situation and context, there may be issues around that.

There's a lot of politics and bad feeling about this, with some saying that "if you aren't willing to routinely and regularly mobilise and deploy, you shouldn't be in the Reserves", with others pointing out that the Reserves are legally treated as "casual labour" with no employment protection and in particular no safeguards about being disadvantaged in civilian employment because of Reserve service (will your career take a hit because you've been out for most of a year? Will your civilian employer even have a job for you to come back to? Will you get any support if that happens?)

The last time I'm aware of any significant number of compulsory mobilisations, was for the opening phase of Op TELIC in 2003 (corrections welcome), otherwise it was voluntary. Some units had high demand for mobilisations, others less so.

Are there chances of compulsory mobilisation with no option to exempt yourself (aside from leaving the Army Reserves)?
It's possible, but very infrequent - it requires something like the warfighting phase of GRANBY or TELIC.

Note also that "leaving the Reserves" is not a valid reaction to compulsory mobilisarion - for as long as you're in, you are theoretically liable. (You could try for a CDT fail, a medical showstopper or a values-and-standards catastrophe to get out of it once mobilised - but all of those have costs and risks of their own)

If you're worried about compulsory mobilisation, leave quickly and make sure the paperwork is complete before the brown envelope is sent out...


Hope this helps - remember this is only one viewpoint & hopefully others will chip in too.
 
#5
@smallbrownprivates Ah, if you're referring to "going the whole hog", I have enough trouble as it is persuading my better half and my family to be ok with me joining as a regular! I also want to make use of my degree in a corporate environment when I graduate.
 

Similar threads